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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

And the Nominees Will Be? UPDATED

So now that we’ve got the hosts all lined up, all we need for the Emmys are the nominees…

And that will all be taken care of bright and early tomorrow morning as Chandra Wilson (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) announce the nominations.

You’ll notice a change this year as the series and major acting categories will now have six nominees each. One change you won’t notice is that the way nominees are selected has changed. In the past, the popular vote of Academy members produced 10 finalists, and then blue ribbon panels chose the nominees based on tapes of the finalists. Now the nominees will once again be chosen by a popular vote only (The acting nominees are chosen by a popular vote from the appropriate peer group.). This could mean that people who are well-liked and respected by their peers have a better shot than those who are just good at selecting tapes.

Notice I said could…

Since the nominations have already been made, there’s nothing I can do to change them. But I’m still going to send out some good thoughts tonight for a few select people…

Here’s my look at the major races:

Outstanding Drama Series:
This one is going to be tricky. With only six slots, someone important is going to get left out. I think “Mad Men” is a lock. But “Lost,” “True Blood,” “Breaking Bad,” “24,” “The Shield” and “Rescue Me” are going to have to fight it out for the rest. And even though critics panned their seasons, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House” are also possibilities because it’s based on popularity and not tape.

Outstanding Comedy Series:
If there is any justice in the Emmy world—and we already know there usually isn’t—the funniest show on TV, “The Big Bang Theory,” will be nominated. But we already know that the Emmys tend to shy away from traditional multi-camera sitcoms. I would look for all the usual suspects here, including “30 Rock” and “Entourage.”

Outstanding Actor, Comedy:
Since Parsons is reading the nominations, it would be totally cruel—and totally ridiculous on the Academy’s part—if he didn’t get a nod for his work as Sheldon on “Bang.” Plus, TV critics everywhere would go ballistic. Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) is a lock here.

Outstanding Actress, Comedy:
Personally, I think Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who?”) deserves a nomination, especially after the shabby way ABC took her show off the air. Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) is a lock. And I always root for Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) since her show doesn’t get a very fair shake from its network.

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy:
Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”) has owned this category, but I have to believe this is Neil Patrick Harris’ (“How I Met Your Mother”) year.

Outstanding Actor, Drama:
This one could be the toughest of the night. For me, it begins and ends with Kiefer Sutherland who did some of his best work as Jack Bauer this season on “24.” But I’m sure that Hugh Laurie (“House”), Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”), Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) have to be in the mix somewhere. And if the critics get their way, we’ll also see Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”). And isn’t it about time Matthew Fox (“Lost”) got some Emmy love?

Outstanding Actress, Drama:
If there was a blue ribbon panel this year, I would say that Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s) was a lock, but after the enemies she’s made with her comments over the years, I’m not so sure. I would say the only locks are the ladies of cable—Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”), Holly Hunter (“Saving Grace”) and Anna Paquin (“True Blood”).

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama:
The glaring omission here would be Michael Emerson (“Lost”) who was once again superb as Ben, but I would also make a strong case for Jon Voight (“24”) even though his character did not survive the entire season. If I were making the picks, in addition to those two, I would choose Josh Holloway (Sawyer, “Lost”) and the man who will never get any Emmy love—even though he totally deserves a ton of it—Robert Knepper (T-Bag, “Prison Break”).

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama:
As President Taylor, Cherry Jones hit a huge home run for “24” and definitely deserves a nod. I would also show some love to Elizabeth Mitchell for her work as Juliet on “Lost.” Whether or not we see them, I’m sure we’ll see one or two of the “Grey’s” actresses and maybe a gal or two from “Mad Men.”

The movie/mini-series categories are usually dominated by cable, but I would look for “24: Redemption” to sneak into a few categories like Outstanding Actor, and possibly Outstanding Made For TV Movie.

The Outstanding Reality-Competition Program will also be an interesting category this year. “Project Runway” does not deserve to be nominated, but I think it will be based on name recognition alone. And wouldn’t it be a hoot to see one of Bravo’s “Housewives” programs nominated for Outstanding Reality Program?

We’ll get all of our answers tomorrow morning. I’ll be here tomorrow evening to break it all down for you…

Stay Tuned…
UPDATE: It was pointed out to me in the comments that Katherine Heigl would most likely be nominated in the Supporting Actress Category, which is true. And in hindsight, I realized I left an important name out of the Drama Actor discussion--James Spader. I know a lot of people are sick of him being nominated, but after his tour de force in the "Boston Legal" finale, he deserves it. However, without the blue ribbon panel system, it might be tougher for him to get it...
Photo Credits: Sonja Flemming/CBS, Kelsey McNeal/FOX, and John Crooms/Bravo